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Behold the Mega-Blog

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agent genius logoIt’s a credit to Benn that contributors here have free rein in terms of what they wish to discuss. That, of course, is a way of kissing up ahead of the larger point of this post.

I just don’t get it, folks. I don’t get the fascination and/or growth of the mega-blogs and I’m a contributor to one of them.

Last time I checked, the Bloodhound had 3,746 active contributors give or take a couple. Agent Genius similarly has grown. Ironically, Rain City Guide has remained somewhat stable over the last several months.

It’s not that I see anything wrong with such expansion – especially seeing as I was part of it. But I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand it. Perhaps contributing here will drive some traffic back to my blog – I’ve not seen it, but so be it. (I also see limited numbers coming from Bloodhound on the rare moments I make the final list for the Odysseus medal.)

I have determined this is my place to rant (aside from today’s questioning of NAR after reading Benn’s earlier post) and my home blog is more sedate, though not strictly local in any way, shape or form. So in that the dual blogs serve a purpose.

But still … what’s the point? If you have a very successful blog of your own, why jump into the conglomerate blogs (barring the need to vent or write with a different voice)? You probably don’t need more readers and you likely will not gain business being one of a dozen (or two or three.) You’re not promoting your own branding (theme one of e-Pro, which, naturally, is violated by the RealTown blogging platform. But that’s another story.)

Greg has said in the past that real estate will not be his last career. Watching the path the Bloodhound has taken, that next career seems to be coming on more quickly than may have been anticipated. Add a cadre of quality writers under one umbrella. Brand the blog. Then sell the secrets to success … wait, the seminar’s free. Still …

Maybe this is the wave of the future. Then again, a year ago I thought Active Rain was the wave of the future only to discover it was wobbling on its water skies passing over a tank holding a tiger shark.

And maybe that’s why I stay. Because I may not be as smart as I think. Might be worth hedging my bets and sticking around on the larger blog just in case.

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I just came becasue you are here and becasue Lani promised me a unicorn. I have not gotten the unicorn but I never give up.

  2. Jeff Turner

    November 21, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Jonathon… here’s where I think the problem lies right now. It’s easy to conclude that all of these different RE.net blogs are like different parties, with different guests. Our hope is that if we go to all of them, we’ll meet new and different people, and expand our network and influence. But for the most part, that’s not true. This is really just one party, and not a particularly large one at that. When we move from one blog to the next, we’re not actually moving from one party to another, we’re just moving to a different conversation at the same party.

    But I have a feeling you know this already. 🙂

  3. Todd Carpenter

    November 21, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Jeff is dead on. RE.net is a social network of it’s own. Far more viable than any group on Facebook. In many ways, it’s a free form model of Active Rain.

    The problem with only posting on your one, personal blog is that not everything you may want to say will be of value to your real clients. I maintain two separate blogs for this reason. Lenderama is my business blog, Blog Fiesta is my social networking blog.

  4. Rick Marnon

    November 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I used active rain for about a day and a half, and then I realized that it is just a bunch of agents writing on one anothers blogs. They do not help you to get better seo rankings, so what purpose do they serve?

  5. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Todd – I have more than one blog for the same reason. Most of my readers don’t know they are reading a blog, they are looking for information and I need to make sure it is there.

  6. Jonathan Dalton

    November 21, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Excellent points …

    I’m not that bright. That’s the heart of it all. So sometimes the WIIFM doesn’t jump out at me. A lot of my thoughts are directed at my own ignorance. (No sarcasm here.)

    Agent Genius has been great as a secondary voice. I haven’t ranted (much) on the regular blog since. I’m also not someone who’s ever worried about “voice.” My voice is my voice and I don’t necessarily have one for the public and one for the rest. If I can put together one coherent thought I’m pretty happy.

    This is a great collection of folks and I’m damn glad to be here … even if Teresa doesn’t end up with her unicorn.

  7. Todd Carpenter

    November 21, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    >”I just came because you are here and becasue Lani promised me a unicorn”

    Here you go T

    https://photo.mariah.com/teresasunicorn.jpg

  8. Jonathan Dalton

    November 21, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    That is so wrong on so many levels …

  9. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Todd just made me cry

  10. Benn Rosales

    November 21, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Phallic comes to mind.

  11. Todd Carpenter

    November 21, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    It’s a weinercorn you sickos. :p

  12. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    This is for Todd: https://tinyurl.com/2mdp6o
    My apology to Jonathan and to Tobey for highjacking this post.

  13. Tim

    November 21, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Keep in mind that on the RealTownBlogs platform, you CAN 301 to a branded domain with a custom template– no violation there.

  14. Mariana

    November 21, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    I like this platform because I respect ALL of the people here, and I can post what I cannot post on my own blog. I love Jeff’s analogy about the party. Makes a lot of sense.

  15. Chris Johnson

    November 22, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I’ve started contributing to blownmortgage.com, which is gonna be a mega blog. I’ve gotten traffic back to me, and in a week had a conversion. My website looks like crap currently (ah, the law of diminishing returns). But, people clicked because of the idea–I do conventional mortgages in 10 (calendar) days 100% of the time. One idea, easy to get.

    I’d think the more groovy and specific your niche the more likely people will click, and the more likely people will convert. I don’t know what a valid niche is; if I were a realtor, I’d probably blog all over the country to create a referral network and market myself as the guy that knows all the tech Savvy Realtor, and then offer 10-15% referral fees.

    Or something. Anyway, I like RE net blogs because the humanity and authenticity of the people is pretty high; there are people that admit it’s disingenuous for the NAR to be telling people that “now is a great time to buy…”

  16. Athol Kay

    November 23, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I have next to no clue about any of it either.

  17. Teri Lussier

    November 25, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    1) What Jeff said
    2) Parties are fun (Jeff left that part out).
    3) I find that on my blog it’s like home: Shoes off, feet up, in my jammies; whereas on another blog I’m a guest. I try to be on my best behavior, elevate the conversation (okay not always successfully, I know!), and contribute in a different way. I can’t explain it other than jammies and bare feet compared to party clothes and heels- two looks, same person, and it’s not just another voice, it’s another place.
    4) There is a synergy that happens in a group blog. It’s real and it’s an important part of a conversation. The blog takes on life of it’s own…
    OTOH, Maybe none of this makes sense… 😀

  18. Kelley Koehler

    November 26, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    See? This is why we need a comment feed. I missed out on weinercorngate.

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Opinion Editorials

Facebook fights falsehoods (it’s a false flag)

(EDITORIAL) Facebook has chosen Reuters to monitor its site for false information, but what can one company really do, and why would Facebook only pick one?

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Reuters checks facebook

So Facebook has finally taken a step to making sure fake news doesn’t get spread on it’s platform. Like many a decision from them though, they haven’t been thorough with their venture.

I am a scientifically driven person, I want facts, figures, and evidence to determine what is reality. Technology is a double edged sword in this arena; sure having a camera on every device any person can hold makes it easy to film events, but deepfakes have made even video more questionable.

Many social media platforms have tried to ban deepfakes but others have actually encouraged it. “I’ll believe it when I see it” was the rally cry for the skeptical, but now it doesn’t mean anything. Altering video in realistic ways has destroyed the credibility of the medium, we have to question even what we see with our eyes.

The expansion of the internet has created a tighter communication net for all of humanity to share, but when specific groups want to sway everyone else there isn’t a lot stopping them if they shout louder than the rest.

With the use of bots, and knowing the specifics of a group you want to sway, it’s easy to spread a lie as truth. Considering how much information is known about almost any user on any social media platform, it’s easy to pick targets that don’t question what they see online.

Facebook has been the worst offender in knowing consumer data and what they do with that data. Even if you never post anything political, they know what your affiliation is. If you want to delete that information, it’s hidden in advertising customization.

Part of me is thrilled that Facebook has decided to try and stand against this spread of misinformation, but how they pursued this goal is anything but complete and foolproof.

Reuters is the news organization that Facebook has chosen to fact check the massive amount of posts, photos, and videos that show up on their platform everyday. It makes sense to grab a news organization to verify facts compared to “alternative facts”.

A big problem I have with this is that Reuters is a company, companies exist to make money. Lies sell better than truths. Ask 2007 banks how well lies sell, ask Enron how that business plan worked out, ask the actors from Game of Thrones about that last season.

Since Reuters is a company, some other bigger company could come along, buy them, and change everything, or put in people who let things slide. Even Captain America recognizes this process. “It’s run by people with agendas, and agendas change.” This could either begin pushing falsehoods into Facebook, or destroy Reuters credibility, and bite Facebook in the ass.

If some large group wants to spread misinformation, but can’t do it themselves, why wouldn’t they go after the number one place that people share information?

I really question if Reuters can handle the amount of information flowing through Facebook, remember almost a 3rd of the whole world uses Facebook. 2.45 Billion people will be checked by 25,800 employees at Reuters? I can appreciate their effort, but they will fail.

Why did Facebook only tag one company to handle this monumental task? If you know that many people are using your platform, and such a limited number of people work for the company you tasked with guarding the users, why wouldn’t you tag a dozen companies to tackle that nigh insurmountable number of users?

I think it’s because Facebook just needs that first headline “Facebook fights falsehoods”. That one line gets spread around but the rest of the story is ignored, or not thought about at all. If there is anything Facebook has learned about the spread of fake information on their platform, it’s how to spread it better.

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Opinion Editorials

Will shopping for that luxury item actually lower your quality of life?

(EDITORIAL) Want to buy yourself a pick-me-up? Have you thought of all the ramifications of that purchase? Try to avoid splurging on it.

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shopping bags

In an era of “treat-yo-self,” the urge to splurge is real. It doesn’t help that shopping – or what ends up being closer to impulse shopping – provides us with a hit of dopamine and a fleeting sense of control. Whether your life feels like it’s going downhill or you’ve just had a bad day, buying something you want (or think you want) can seem like an easy fix.

Unfortunately, it might not be so great when it comes to long-term happiness.

As you might have already guessed, purchasing new goods doesn’t fall in line with the minimalism trend that’s been sweeping the globe. Being saddled with a bunch of stuff you don’t need (and don’t even like!) is sure to make your mood dip, especially if the clutter makes it harder to concentrate. Plus, if you’ve got a real spending problem, the ache in your wallet is sure to manifest.

If that seems depressing, I’ve got even more bad news. Researchers at Harvard and Boston College have found yet another way spending can make us more unhappy in the long run: imposter syndrome. It’s that feeling you get when it seems like you’re not as good as your peers and they just haven’t caught on yet. This insecurity often arises in competitive careers, academics and, apparently, shopping.

Now, there’s one big caveat to this idea that purchasing goods will make you feel inferior: it really only applies to luxury goods. I’m talking about things like a Louis Vuitton purse, a top of the line Mercedes Benz, a cast iron skillet from Williams Sonoma (or is that one just me?). The point is, the study found that about 67% of people – regardless of their income – believed their purchase was inauthentic to their “true self.”

And this imposter syndrome even existed when the luxury items were bought on sale.

Does this mean you should avoid making a nice purchase you’ve been saving up for? Not necessarily. One researcher at Cambridge found that people were more likely to report happiness for purchases that fit their personalities. Basically, a die-hard golfer is going to enjoy a new club more than someone who bought the same golf club to try to keep up with their co-workers.

Moral of the story: maybe don’t impulse buy a fancy new Apple watch. Waiting to see if it’s something you really want can save your budget…and your overall happiness.

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Opinion Editorials

How to ask your manager for better work equipment

(EDITORIAL) Old computer got you down? Does it make your job harder? Here’s how to make a case to your manager for new equipment without budget worries.

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better equipment, better work

Aside from bringing the boss coffee and donuts for a month before asking, what is an employee to do when the work equipment bites.

Let’s be frank, working on old, crappy computers with inefficient applications can make the easiest tasks a chore. Yet, what do you do? You know you need better equipment to do your job efficiently, but how to ask the boss without looking like a whiner who wants to blow the department budget.

In her “Ask A Manager” column, Alison Green says an employee should ask for better equipment if it is needed. For example, the employee in her column has to attend meetings, but has no laptop and has to take a ton of notes and then transcribe them. Green says, it’s important to make the case for the benefits of having newer or updated equipment.

The key is showing a ROI. If you know a specific computer would be a decent upgrade, give your supervisor the specific model and cost, along with the expected outcomes. In addition, it may be worth talking to someone from the IT department to see what options might be available – if you’re in a larger company.

IT professionals who commented on Green’s column made a few suggestions. Often because organizations have contracts with specific computer companies or suppliers, talking with IT about what is needed to get the job done and what options are available might make it easier to ask a manager, by saying, “I need a new computer and IT says there are a few options. Here are my three preferences.” A boss is more likely to be receptive and discuss options.

If the budget doesn’t allow for brand new equipment, there might be the option to upgrade the RAM, for example. In a “Workplace” discussion on StackExchange.com an employee explained the boss thinks if you keep a computer clean – no added applications – and maintained it will perform for years. Respondents said, it’s important to make clear the cost-benefit of purchasing updated equipment. Completing a ROI analysis to show how much more efficiently with the work be done may also be useful. Also, explaining to a boss how much might be saved in repair costs could also help an employee get the point across.

Managers may want to take note because, according to results of a Gallup survey, when employees are asked to meet a goal but not given the necessary equipment, credibility is lost.

Gallup says that workgroups that have the most effectively managed materials and equipment tend to have better customer engagement, higher productivity, better safety records and employees that are less likely to jump ship than their peers.

And, no surprise, if a boss presents equipment and says: “Here’s what you get. Deal with it,” employees are less likely to be engaged and pleased than those employees who have a supervisor who provides some improvements and goes to bat to get better equipment when needed.

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